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You're on top of the world - maybe you just came home from an overseas trip with your girlfriends, finished your university degree or landed your absolute dream job! You’re achieving things and totally owning your own space. You feel like for the first time in so long, you actually have your shit together.

Every aspect of your life seems to be aligning perfectly - you're heading in the right direction, the path you're on seems to be the right one. You're proud of yourself but can't help but feel like maybe something's missing. Nevertheless, you have faith that when the time is right, maybe the person who is right for you will come along but for now this journey needs to be one you travel solo for a while.

You're a smart cookie, you've been through enough crap in your life to know that boys well, they'll come and go - you don't really focus too much energy on it.

Until one day randomly when you least expect it, one literally pops up out of nowhere. This one is special! There’s something about this one that has not only caught your attention, but has managed to stand out in a crowd of hundreds, maybe even thousands of people that you've had available at your fingertips.

This one didn't have to try to be anything or anyone, because who they were was enough. They cared, were attentive and highly intelligent.

For a while you watched how they were and wondered if they were for real. Were they actually who they said they were? Because right now they are pretty much the person you had convinced yourself didn't exist.

Like most women, whether we’d like to admit it or not, we have a list of qualities we look for in a person and requirements we feel we deserve. We know the person we want is a rare breed, so when we find someone who we’re not only physically attracted too, but mentally drawn to, it's not something you can just sweep under the rug and dismiss.

This rare breed is worth the risk! They're worth taking a chance on and if you ignore this chance, they'll be the one that for months maybe even years, you'll ponder on the thought 'What if I’d just tried?'

As time passes and your walls begin to come down, the connection will either draw you in like a magnetic force, pulling you closer to the person or to put it bluntly - fizzle and die.

If it starts to fizzle, and eventually, dies then you may be left in a bit of a predicament. Not so much about the actual person who hurt your feelings and threw in the towel before you did, but more so the aftermath of dealing with yourself.

You're left with so many questions!

This ‘almost relationship’ didn't even have time to flourish, so how did it die before it had a chance to live?

What did I do wrong? Was I not good enough? How can I, this strong, smart and resilient woman not be good enough? Is it because I am not attractive or not skinny enough? Is it this or that? ……. the list goes on.

The inner critic that lives inside us thrives on these kind of situations. When something bad happens it's like handing that little voice a microphone, giving it the main stage and the power to project every tiny negative thought you've ever had about yourself, to yourself, whilst using a top of the line sound system.

If that's not bad enough, your inner critic will run through this presentation on a giant projector screen displaying every horrible memory you have had locked away, with the hope of never revisiting.

If you choose to partake in this presentation, within a matter of minutes you'll be sitting on the floor crying with a bottle of cheap wine in your hand, wondering why you're such a failure and how someone could be so cruel. Once you allow the inner critic to start their hate speech, it's extremely difficult to shut it up.

Truth is, it's not even about the other person. You're disappointed and upset, yes! But you're more embarrassed that you, this woman, who has dealt with situations way worse than this could be so weak over something as silly as the end of an ‘almost relationship’.

The best thing to do is accept what happened and find the lesson, because for every hardship, breakup, loss or disappointment, somewhere in amongst it all there is a lesson to be learnt.

Don't be so hard on yourself! You weren't to know that things would work out this way. Don't be angry, because you taking a chance on someone shows you that you’re still capable of feeling something.

Try not to be sad (I say this whilst eating a tub of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream). You will be OK - you always are and always will be!

Just remember that sometimes we like the idea of somebody more than the actual person. We choose to see what we want to see, instead of looking at the entire picture for what it actually is. In reality, you cannot date someone's potential.

If you're reading this, I’m sorry if you’re feeling hurt, but like a Phoenix which rises from the ashes, you too shall rise above this.

Cheer up buttercup - onwards and upwards!

As seen published on Thought Catalog.

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